ARC Seeks Applicants for Economic Diversification Projects in Region’s Coal-Impacted Communities

ARC’s POWER Initiative is making available up to $65 million in FY 2023 to create new opportunities in communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry.

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2023—Today the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER targets federal resources to bring economic diversification and new opportunities to Appalachian communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.

ARC is making up to $65 million available in FY 2023 for POWER funding to leverage entrepreneurship, workforce development, infrastructure, agriculture, and other projects to enhance job training and reemployment opportunities, create jobs in existing or new industries, and attract new sources of private investment in coal-impacted communities.

“Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities have been the backbone of our region’s workforce for generations, and it is critical that we provide opportunities for those who have been affected by the downturn of the coal industry,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “ARC looks forward to awarding the next round of POWER grants to projects across our region that will revitalize and reinvigorate Appalachia’s economy.”

Successful POWER grant applications will demonstrate the ability to produce diverse economic development outcomes, including diversifying local and regional economic bases, creating stable employment opportunities in new or emerging industries, expanding workforce service and skills training, and attracting new sources of public and private investment. Proposals may also include plans to integrate activities with existing economic development projects and support the implementation of existing economic development strategic plans on a local, regional, or federal level.

“POWER grants help Appalachian communities prepare for the economy of tomorrow,” said ARC 2023 States’ Co-Chair Governor Andy Beshear of Kentucky. “That not only looks like investing in job training, new markets and ecotourism, but also expanding on what is already working.”

Since POWER’s establishment in 2015, ARC has invested more than $368 million in 449 projects across 360 coal-impacted Appalachian counties. According to the most recent evaluation of POWER grants, ARC’s investments are projected to have helped create or retain nearly 40,000 jobs and prepare more than 100,000 workers and students for new opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband development, tourism, agriculture and food systems, and other growing industries.

Key dates for the FY 2023 POWER Initiative:

  • February 21, 2023: Pre-Application Workshop (Virtual) – register here 
  • February 23, 2023: Southern Appalachia Pre-Application Workshop (Belden, MS) – register here 
  • February 28, 2023: Central Appalachia Pre-Application Workshop (Knoxville, TN) – register here 
  • March 2, 2023: Northern Appalachia Pre-Application Workshop (Pittsburgh, PA) – register here
  • March 8, 2023: POWER Letters of Intent (LOI) due
  • April 19, 2023: Final POWER Applications due
  • Fall 2023: Awards announced

Additional information about POWER and the application process can be found at

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.